This spring, our sermon series - Dunamis, what's gotten into you? - has centered on stories of life-change brought on by the Spirit. This Sunday, we'll hear the story of Pentecost and celebrate the coming of the Spirit to all the believers.
As you might have heard, we recently developed a new online resource for Bible study called Story of the Month. If you haven't had a chance to check it out yet, this is the week to do it, as May's story is the Bible reading for this Sunday! Each week, we add new resources, each bringing a different perspective to the text. In the next two weeks, we'll add new resources, including this video produced a few years ago by Pastor Ben Cieslik.
In the last year, Bethlehem began a partnership with HMCHA, a non-profit that works in Ethiopia, founded by Bethlehem member Megersa Kumbi. As you may have heard, we are working on building a bridge in a place called Yerer. Jeff Mogush has just completed a two week visit to the bridge site, and will be sharing the story of this life-saving bridge as well as the progress made, as we do our best to complete it before the rainy season comes (and more people die).
Bethlehem and our partners are saving and changing lives in Ethiopia with this bridge. It is also changing the lives of those participating in the building, as we build not only a literal bridge, but also a bridge between cultures and peoples half a world apart, but united in Christ.
I look forward to seeing you at the Men's Breakfast on Saturday morning! You won't want to miss this!
In light of the events in Boston on Monday (and in Baghdad, where there was a (another) coordinated series of bomb attacks), I have been thinking about our current sermon series "Dunamis...what’s gotten into you? " The focus of the series is on how the church burst onto the world stage--exploded even--after the death and resurrection of Jesus, as recorded in the Book of Acts. As we have learned, "Dunamis" is the root word for dynamite. I am reminded that dynamite can be used for both good (excavation, construction, etc.) and for evil, as we have seen once again. It is another example of the tension in which we live in our world, where we are given choices how to use ourselves and the things around us, for better or worse.
I have been touched by the story of Martin who was killed in Boston as he waited at the finish line of the marathon. He is pictured here holding a sign he made for a peace walk last year. His words “No more hurting other people…Peace” remind me that we call our Savior the “Prince of Peace,” and that he came to us to bring his Peace into our world. The words remind me that we are called to be Peacemakers and messengers of peace to everyone around us. Frankly, we are called to "burst" into the world sharing the One who brings peace and promises to you, to me and to us all... "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid..." John 14:27
Peace to Martin's family and the other families mourning. Peace to all the wounded. Peace to the City of Boston. And Peace to each of you. Pastor Chris
Christ is Risen!
Thank you to everyone who helped to make Easter Sunday such a joyful celebration of Christ's resurrection. It is truly a gift to be a part of this community of faith and I'm so grateful for the time and energy that was expended in service of helping one another hear the gospel message anew. Each person that was present during holy week helped to make the experience richer, and I'm so thankful for that. If you were/are traveling and couldn't be with us last week, please take some time and revisit the sermons. Though you were not all able to be with us, you were in our prayers. Christ is Risen indeed!
I love this phrase, first preached years ago by Tony Campolo’s pastor in a Baptist church in Missouri. It sums up the Easter message in one, short, memorable sentence. But just because I love this phrase don’t assume that I want to skip Saturday! Truth be told, the Saturday before Easter is my favorite day in the church, in the year. I show up at 4100 Lyndale whether I need to or not! On the Saturday before Easter I’m always met by a glimpse of who the church is: countless volunteers working together behind the scenes to prepare this place to receive all people into the company of saints and sinners on Sunday. People work tirelessly so that whoever comes through the Bethlehem doors is wowed by the warmth of unconditional hospitality and the power of the Gospel, communicated through Word, a meal, music and art. Who knows if the stranger will return? That’s up to the Spirit. But maybe, just maybe, the experience will open their hearts and eyes to the power of God that is alive in the world. It blows my mind that God graciously invites us into such holy work. Thank you to all of you who make it so.
To God be the Glory!
See you in church—
The Gospel of Luke contains many stories about healing. On Wednesdays in Lent, we have invited professionals from Bethlehem to help us explore the connection between faith and health. Last week, we heard from Dr. Christopher Hall. Also read Pastor Beth's sermon.
The Gospel of Luke contains many stories about healing. On Wednesdays in Lent, we have invited professionals from Bethlehem to help us explore the connection between faith and health. Last week, we heard from Luke Winskowski, Financial Planner with Thrivent Financial, as he reflected on financial health. Also read Pastor Ben's sermon.
This week our guest is Dr. Christopher Hall, Nephrologist, who will talk about Physical Health.
The Gospel of Luke contains many stories about healing. On Wednesdays in Lent, we have invited professionals from Bethlehem to help us explore the connection between faith and health. Last week, we heard from Cheryl Salter, Certified Healing Touch Practitioner, as she reflected on relational health. Also read Pastor Mary's sermon.
This week our guest is Luke Winskowski, Financial Planner from Thrivent Financial, who will talk about Financial Health.
The Gospel of Luke contains many stories about healing. On Wednesdays in Lent, we have invited health professionals from Bethlehem to help us explore the connection between faith and health. Last week, we heard from Dawn Taylor, Psychologist at Melrose Institute/Park Nicollet, as she reflected on spiritual health. Also read Pastor Beth's message.
This week our guest is Cheryl Salter, Certified Healing Touch Practitioner, who will talk about Relational Health.